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The Song of the Quarkbeast: Last Dragonslayer Book 2 Paperback – 30 Aug 2012
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'Highly recommended. Very funny' (Independent on THE LAST DRAGONSLAYER)
'[Fforde's] ripping yarn of magic in decline mashes up the usual spells-and-beasts motif with a satire on corporate cash and tabloid values.' (i on THE LAST DRAGONSLAYER)
'This year's grown-up JK Rowling' (Sunday Times)
'True literary comic genius' (Sunday Express)
The second in Jasper Fforde's Dragonslayer trilogy for younger readers, this is magical, hilarious and irreverent writing.See all Product description
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The book had, I felt, a relatively weak opening. Fforde's recent works, particularly Shades of Grey and The Last Dragonslayer, have been masterpieces, and to be honest this felt like a bit of a let down after those. However once some of the set up had been passed, the pace picked up and Fforde's unique surrealism began to show itself again and for the second half the novel was easily the equal of its predecessor.
The nature of the story though does make it feel more of a children's novel, though perhaps that is by design. The first book in this series appealed to me as an adult reader, in that it dealt with some weightier themes which this book barely brushes against.
Overall though certainly another good book from Fforde and I will continue to look forward to his works with a sense of glee. His mastery of the English language has to be up there with the greats of surreal and humorous writing.
It's not his best, and the ending is a tad rushed, but Fforde is consistently entertaining
Fforde has invented a world that is 100% fantasy and 10000% believable. While both The Last Dragon Slayer and The Song of the Quarkbeast are 'simple' stories they are so eloquently written and so laugh out loud funny, that for me, they have become the standard of which I judge other books by.
The Song of the Quarkbeast picks ups 2 months after the end of The Last Dragon Slayer. Jennifer Strange is a sixteen-year-old foundling and acting manager of Kazam, the employment agency for sorcerers and soothsayers. For the past two months "it was very much business as usual: hiring out sorcerers to conduct low-level, mundane and very practical magic. You know the sort of thing: plumbing and rewiring, wallpapering and loft conversions." But things are about to change. Magical power is on the rise and the king wants control, for he who controls magic controls everything.
I'm not new to Jasper Fforde, so I naturally thought that it was all part of the book...until I began to read those pages and knew there was no way he would have written such, for lack of a better word, crap.
So I have thoroughly enjoyed the first 134 pages of The Song of the Quarkbeast and look forward to the day when I can read pages 135-187 and beyond, until that time...I'll just have to wonder which mustached author would have wanted to sabotage Mr. Fforde's publication.
All in all, a poor editing job. I suspect the author's editor was having an off day.